Uniform TitleNegotiating change: the emergence and development of the women's movement in contemporary China
NameZhang, Qin (author), Wilson, Richard (chair), Kaufman, Robert (internal member), Callaway, Barbara (internal member), Kubik, Jan (internal member), Tu, Ching-I (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
DescriptionWhat have given rise to the emergence of a large number of self-initiated women's organizations in China since the 1990s? How did these organizations interact with the Chinese state in a non-democratic political system? My case study of the contemporary Chinese women's movement tests the utility of the political process theories originally developed in the context of advanced industrial democracies. I found the three factors identified by the political process model--openings in the political opportunity structure, mobilization structures and framing processes can explain the emergence and development of the Chinese women's movement to a large degree. Yet the fact that this movement has existed in a context that is characterized by the continuing dominance of the party-state in society also calls for our attention to many dynamics that are not common in most Western social movements. Generally speaking, as a response to the structural biases in the classic political process model, my research has suggested that all these three factors are neither static nor invariant, and they are shaped by the strategic considerations and choices of movement activists who are constantly in interactions with other players, especially the state.
My dissertation on the Chinese women's movement also contributes to a greater understanding of state-society relations in contemporary China. I contend that we should not view the interactions between these women's organizations and the state in the light of conceptualizations such as civil society and corporatism, which provide only a broad overarching picture of contemporary state-society relationships in China, but fail to capture the underlying nuanced dynamics in a highly contingent and complex transforming process which China is now undergoing. Alternatively, I argue that the degree of autonomy from the state differs considerably from one organization to another. More importantly, these organizations and the activists within them have made strategic choices to create the best linkage, whether it be more autonomous or more dependent, between each individual organization and the state.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 166-179).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.